In yet another dismal showing, which has made the club look like also-rans and wannabes who are stuck in a rut, Arsenal lost away at Swansea 1-2. Once again defensive tactics were questioned and once again the midfield looks weak and porous. Swansea came from behind with two late goals to claim a memorable win over Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium. Arsenal took the lead when Alexis Sanchez finished from close range after an excellent run and pass from Danny Welbeck. It was the Chilean’s sixth goal in his last four league games as he continues his run of good form. But a stunning Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick and a fine header from substitute Bafetimbi Gomis sealed Swansea’s victory. The win sees Garry Monk’s men leapfrog the Gunners into fifth place in the Premier League table.
For Arsene Wenger’s side, meanwhile, defeat caps a miserable week after their Champions League collapse against Anderlecht on Tuesday, in which they threw away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3. There were some nervy moments from the Gunners’ defenders, with Calum Chambers surviving a Swansea penalty appeal after appearing to shove Wilfried Bony to the ground inside the area. Clear scoring opportunities were at a premium in the first half as two slick but congested midfields cancelled each other out. Arsenal did not manage a shot on target until a minute before half time, as Welbeck combined well with Sanchez before his effort was palmed away by former Gunner Lukasz Fabianski. Arsenal seemed in control at this point but, within 15 minutes, the match was completely transformed. Swansea were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal after Kieran Gibbs was booked for fouling the hosts’ debutant Modou Barrow.
Sigurdsson then compounded Gibbs’ punishment as he curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner. Arsenal barely had time to register the blow of Sigurdsson’s leveller by the time Swansea took the lead less than three minutes later. Montero, who had given Chambers a torrid afternoon on Swansea’s left wing, floated in an inviting cross for Gomis, who nodded the ball beyond a static Szczesny and into the bottom corner. Defensive woes, defensive woes, defensive woes – the club looks like a facsimile of it’s old self and if Wenger continues in this manner, we will miss out on a Champions League spot. I hope then that the axe will fall.